Longmont vehicle officials want to stop unreasonably high-speed engines, exhaust systems.

Excessively loud driving continues to be a problem for many residents and business owners in Longmont.

So much so, that public safety officials have proposed prohibiting the sound of a motor vehicle’s engine or exhaust system within 300 feet.

Public safety officials landed on a threshold of 300 feet when measured from that distance, traffic sounds barely registered above normal, ambient sounds.

“It’s a distance that … most people can imagine,” said Longmont Master Police Officer David Kennedy, noting that 300 feet was about the distance of a football field.

Traffic flows along Main Street in Longmont on Monday. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

The city already bans unreasonable noise that can be heard 25 feet away at a certain decibel level. Decibel limits depend on the time of day and the zoning of the area, whether residential, commercial or industrial.

However, enforcing noise regulations, especially as they relate to motor vehicles, has become almost impossible for police officers because the department does not have the necessary equipment to record decibel levels.

“Even if we have noise meters, we think there’s a better way,” Kennedy said of noise enforcement strategies.

The new rule would give officers the ability to cite noise after hearing a motor vehicle’s engine or exhaust system from 300 feet away, as opposed to measuring its decibel level.

Kennedy emphasized how the new rule was intended to go after serious violations.

Kennedy said the 300-foot rule would not apply to commercial motor vehicles because they already have to comply with different government noise regulations.

“It’s just … about the quiet enjoyment of spaces whether you’re downtown or in your home,” Kennedy said.

Earlier this year Longmont resident Brian Johnston, who lives a block from the downtown thoroughfare, collected 25 signatures from business owners and managers who wanted something done about speeding up car stereos. Johnston was not available to speak by phone Monday but said in a Facebook message that he was confused by the proposed new language and questioned why it didn’t include anything specifically about stereos.

Councilman Tim Waters said the proposed increase to the city’s noise ordinance is not in response to a single incident or petition, but rather concerns raised by residents about unreasonably loud vehicles and businesses. Eliminates concerns.